She received a missive. It was long, like an official document; it bore evidence of having been carried for some hours in a coat-pocket, and was folded in one of those old, troublesome ways in use before the days of envelopes. Aurora pulled it open.
“It is all figures; light a candle.”
The candle was lighted by Clotilde and held over Aurora’s shoulder; they saw a heading and footing more conspicuous than the rest of the writing.
The heading read:
Clotilde Nancanou, owners of Fausse Riviere
Plantation, in account with Honore Grandissime.”
The footing read:
_ “Balance at
credit, subject to order of Aurora and Clotilde
The date followed:
“March 9, 1804.”
and the signature:
A small piece of torn white paper slipped from the account to the floor. Clotilde’s eye followed it, but Aurora, without acknowledgement of having seen it, covered it with her foot.
In the morning Aurora awoke first. She drew from under her pillow this slip of paper. She had not dared look at it until now. The writing on it had been roughly scratched down with a pencil. It read:
“Not for love
of woman, but in the name of justice and the
fear of God.”
“And I was so cruel,” she whispered.
Ah! Honore Grandissime, she was kind to that little writing! She did not put it back under her pillow; she kept it warm, Honore Grandissime, from that time forth.
BAD FOR CHARLIE KEENE
On the same evening of which we have been telling, about the time that Aurora and Clotilde were dropping their last tear of joy over the document of restitution, a noticeable figure stood alone at the corner of the rue du Canal and the rue Chartres. He had reached there and paused, just as the brighter glare of the set sun was growing dim above the tops of the cypresses. After walking with some rapidity of step, he had stopped aimlessly, and laid his hand with an air of weariness upon a rotting China-tree that leaned over the ditch at the edge of the unpaved walk.
“Setting in cypress,” he murmured. We need not concern ourselves as to his meaning.
One could think aloud there with impunity. In 1804, Canal street was the upper boundary of New Orleans. Beyond it, to southward, the open plain was dotted with country-houses, brick-kilns, clumps of live-oak and groves of pecan. At the hour mentioned the outlines of these objects were already darkening. At one or two points the sky was reflected from marshy ponds. Out to westward rose conspicuously the old house and willow-copse of Jean Poquelin. Down the empty street or road, which stretched with arrow-like straightness toward the northwest, the